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Drinking to celebrate the 4th of July? Get a designated driver

Operation DUI Wolf Pack will be on St. Johns County roads starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 3, through 4 a.m. Sunday, July 4.
Credit: TEGNA
Law enforcement officers will be on the road this July 4 weekend to try and stop impaired drivers.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — If your Fourth of July plans include celebrating with some classic American beers (or even Italian wine, French Champagne or Irish whiskey), make sure you plan ahead for a designated driver.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol and St. Augustine Police Department are announcing a crackdown on drunk driving over the busy holiday driving weekend. Operation DUI Wolf Pack will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 3, through 4 a.m. Sunday, July 4.

During those hours, the three agencies will maintain a "proactive profile" on highly traveled roads within St. Johns County. Mothers Against Drunk Driving will also be supporting law enforcement during the operation, according to a news release from SJSO.

"The goal of Operation Wolf Pack is to education people and create public awareness about the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and any chemical or controlled substances," the release says.

You should choose to celebrate responsibly by staying at home, designating a driver or getting a taxi or ride-booking service like Uber or Lyft.

“The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is laser focused on reducing traffic crashes due to impaired driving which often result in death, major injuries, and property damage,” Sheriff Robert Hardwick said in the release. “Since the start of this year, we have seen a 35% increase in our DUI arrests which has resulted in a 50% decrease in impaired driver related crashes. We want you and your family to get home alive and safe.” 

Operation Wolf Pack is specific to the Fourth of July holiday, but SJSO says it will continue DUI enforcement every day of the year.